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PoliticsNation, Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Read the transcript from the Thursday show

August 22, 2013

Guests: Michelle Sigano, Dana Milbank, Maria Teresa Kumar, Bill Siegel

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris and thanks to you
for tuning in. I`m live tonight from Washington, D.C.

Tonight`s lead, a taste of their own medicine. President Obama hit
the road today with a message aimed at Republicans he has had enough. He
is done with GOP efforts to kill the signature achievement of his


of Republicans in Congress suggest that maybe America shouldn`t pay its
bills that have already been run up, that we should shut down government if
they can`t shut down Obama care. You know, that won`t grow our economy,
that won`t create jobs, that won`t help our middle class. We can`t afford
in Washington the usual circus of distractions and political posturing. We
can`t afford that right now.


SHARPTON: He`s right, we could afford it. What doesn`t the GOP
understand? The healthcare law passed Congress. It was signed into law.
It was upheld by the Supreme Court. It was reaffirmed by the election.
The battle is over. And if Republicans don`t want to listen to the
president, then, how about their own constituents?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have health care so should we!

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Gentlemen, thank you for sharing your

REP. DANIEL WEBSTER (R), FLORIDA: I believe that Obamacare is bad for
America. I do. And the reason is -- and so does the president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about the senators in your district?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would you oppose something that is helping me
now? It has bending the cost curves and it is going to bend the cost of
curve in the future? Why? Why, Congressman? Why?


SHARPTON: The people have made it clear. They are sick of the GOP
games and the president`s going to make sure that Republicans get that
message once and for all.

Joining me now are Krystal Ball and Goldie Taylor.

Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Thanks for having us, Rev.

SHARPTON: Krystal, do Republicans really think they can stop the
health care law or is this just a big show for their base?

BALL: I think this is definitely just a big show for their base. And
particularly in this conversation about shutting down the government over
defunding Obamacare, you even have members of the Republican leadership,
Mitch McConnell says this doesn`t make sense. It`s not going to work.
There is no way the president is going to sign into law a continues
resolution that does not fund Obamacare.

So, people like Ted Cruz who are promoting this, it`s just a
completely selfish and foolhardy and foolish move because it is only good
for themselves and they are standing with the base. It is not good for the
Republican Party. It is certainly not good for the American people.

SHARPTON: You know, Goldie, the president has been hammering
Republicans over their obsession with Obamacare. Listen to this.


OBAMA: We see a certain fraction of Republicans in Congress. Hurt as
fragile recovery by saying that they wouldn`t pay the very bill of the
Congress wrecked up in the first place threatening to shut down the
people`s government if they can`t get rid of Obamacare.

I think the really interesting question is why it is that my friends
in the other party had made the idea of preventing these people from
getting healthcare their holy grail, their number one priority.


SHARPTON: I mean, that is pretty strong stuff coming from the
president defending his signature law. Is it the right messaging? Do you
think it is important messaging, Goldie?

GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it is true, Reverend
Sharpton. You know, this is their number one priority. If you go from
town hall to town hall, from state to state, and county to county, this is
the issue on the agenda in GOP precincts. And so, I do think it is the
number one issue.

Unfortunately, it is a losing proposition. They fought to repeal
Obamacare some 40 times. And now, they have President Obama scare where
they planned to shut down the government, you know, by October 1st, if they
don`t get their way.

At the end of the day, you know, this president has sort of equal
approval/disapproval rating among the American people. They really break
along party lines, but no one could dislike this Congress more. If they
wanted to you raise their standing with the American people, they would
focus on things like delivering health care to 30 million people. They
would focus on things like higher education like the president is doing.
They would focus on things like putting Americans back to work. Instead,
they are hyper-focus on things like impeachment to which they have no

SHARPTON: Talking about impeachment, Krystal, another, yet another
Republican came out today suggesting impeaching the president. Listen to


SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: What you have to do is you have to
establish a criteria that would qualify for proceedings against the
president and that`s called impeachment.

Barack Obama is a personal friend of mine. He game my friend in the
Senate, but that does not mean that I agree in any way with what he`s doing
or how he`s doing it. He is in a difficult position he has put himself in.
And if it continues, I think we are going to have another constitutional
crisis in our country in terms of the presidency.


SHARPTON: Now, what`s striking about this, Krystal, is this is a
moderate Republican. This is one of those that has been basically
moderate. And as he said himself, he has been considered a friend of the
president`s since their Senate days. I don`t know if you need friends like

BALL: I think that`s exactly right. It is disappointing, because Tom
Coburn has been one who is willing to criticize his party and has it times
been avoids of reason. And I think it just goes to show you how far off
the rails the Republican party has gone. They have stoked the sentiments
in their base that this president is not just on a different ideological
sides on them. That he is evil, that he is treasonous, that he deserved
impeachment. So, when they`re confronted with these questions at town hall
meetings, they can`t back down, because those are the very sentiments that
they have sawn in the base.

And ultimately, I think Goldie is right. They have nothing to offer
in terms of positive plans for the American people. So, they have to
distract from that by focusing on things like defunding Obamacare,
something that is never going to happen and throwing out careless and
completely false accusations against the president.

SHARPTON: You know, Goldie, Congressman Louie Gohmert has said that
GOP lawmakers are actually meeting weekly to plot Obamacare`s downfall.
This is interesting to alarming, depending on your point of view.

TAYLOR: I think the point of view here is this. I mean, Louie
Gohmert is from a very, very safe district as are a number of Republicans
from very, very red states in their districts. He can afford to stoke
controversy in this way, but he has to know he isn`t helping hi party
nationally. What he is helping to do is solidify things on a local level.
But that makes the GOP a very local party and now a party of leadership on
a national level which is what they really, really want.

And so, if Ted Cruz, for instance, were running for Congress or
Senate, or governor in some red stays, that he too exceedingly well, you
know, with those kinds of red-meat politics. But running for president is
going to take a coalition builder people, someone who can bring people
together in, you know, in nontraditional ways. Louie Gohmert is the poster
child for the destruction of the national GOP.

SHARPTON: But, you know, shouldn`t they, Krystal, be meeting weekly
about creating jobs? About dealing with some of the egregious things that
Americans are facing daily in the economy still trying to recover? Meeting
about Obamacare and how to stop the president? I mean, isn`t that a little
less than what even their constituents expect of them when they vote for

BALL: Yes, what a novel suggestion, to actually spend your time
focusing on things that would benefit the American people rather than
taking health caraway from millions. And they are not even meeting to
suggest other health care alternatives. All right, they are focused is on
is how can we damage this president, how can we repeal Obamacare. Because
at the end of the day, they are afraid that once it`s implemented, they
know people are going to like it and it`s going to help them. And they
will have been On the Record doing everything they can to stand in the way
of progress in this country.

SHARPTON: Goldie, you said, and it has been repeated by Krystal, that
the Republicans have no alternative plan. But the GOP does have a plan for
health care and we heard it from former senator Jim DeMint. He says that
the uninsured Americans, quote, "will get better health care just going to
the emergency room." I mean, that`s their solution. Put yourself into
financial ruin in order to get health care.

TAYLOR: You know, you could tell that to the many physicians around
this country, to the many hospitals around this country and other health
care providers, and they would tell you right that that is one way to one
bankrupt individuals and bankrupt those facilities, for providing care for
which they are never, ever going to receive payment.

You know, Mitt Romney actually had this right. The worst possible
thing you could do is push people into emergency Medicaid, into emergency
ER positions, you know, that are disastrous, financial proposition for
everyone around, when is patently cheaper, more effective to invest
yourself in preventive health care and teaching people not lifestyles,
those kinds of things raise the quality of public health and reduce the tax
on health care system, of public health care systems across this country.
And so, I am, you know, concerned that this is making government, which is
likely what the GOP says they don`t want to do.

SHARPTON: Well, I`m going to have to leave it there. But there is
hope, Krystal, in America when Goldie Taylor starts quoting Mitt Romney, we
can come together.

BALL: There you go.

SHARPTON: Krystal Ball and Goldie Taylor, thanks for coming on the
show tonight.

BALL: Thanks, Reverend.

TAYLOR: Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: And remember, you can catch Krystal on "the Cycle" weekdays
at 3:00 p.m. eastern right here on MSNBC.

Ahead, a true hero, a school book keeper talks down a gunman, saving
dozens of children in the process and it`s all on a dramatic 911 call.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s going to be all right, sweetheart. I just
want you to know that I love you so, OK?. And I`m proud of you. That is
the good thing that you just given up. An don`t worry about it. We all go
through something in life.


SHARPTON: Plus, an outrageous new poll shows exactly what Republicans
think of President Obama. You need to see this one.

And the greatest of all time, a revealing new look at Muhammad Ali`s
battles outside the ring.


MUHAMMAD ALI, FORMER BOXER: You are bolder when I want freedom. You
are bolder when I want justice. You are bolder when I want equalities.
You won`t even stand up for me in America for my religious beliefs, and you
want me to go somewhere and fight when you won`t stand up for me here at


SHARPTON: And don`t forget to tune in tomorrow for a special two-hour
edition of "Politics Nation." I`m live from the Lincoln Memorial, for a
look back at the march on Washington and a look ahead to our own march this


SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? We hope you will.

Our facebook family has been going wild over this poll that shows more
Louisiana Republicans blame President Obama for the response to hurricane
Katrina than President Bush.

Yolanda says, wow, how ridiculous. I would like those people to
explain how the president is to blame when he wasn`t even president yet.

Grace says, it shows how ignorant Obama haters are.

We want to hear your thoughts on this poll. Please head over to
facebook and search "Politics Nation" and like you to join the conversation
that keeps going long after the show ends.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He had a look on him that he recalls willing to
kill. As a matter of fact, he even said it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said that he didn`t have a reason to live and
that he knew he was going to die today.


SHARPTON: Today, everybody is talking about that hero, school book
keeper from Georgia, who may have single handedly stopped a gunman from
killing dozens of little kids. Her name is Antoinette Tuff, an appropriate
last name, because nobody was tougher than she was at that moment.
Antoinette is the hero who confronted a man, armed with an ak-47, and
nearly 500 rounds of ammunition, who marched into that elementary school on
Tuesday. Here`s part of her dramatic 911 call, revealing the courage and
the compassion that she used to stop the gunman and save lives.


ANTOINETTE TUFF, SCHOOL BOOK KEEPER: He said he should have just gone
to the mental hospital instead of doing this, because he is not on his
medication. I can help you, do you want me to try -- do you want to talk
to them? Do you want me to try to -- OK, but let me talk to them and let`s
see if we can work it out so you don`t have to go away with them for a long
time. No, it does matter. I can let them know you have not tried to harm
me or do anything with me or anything. That doesn`t make any difference.
You didn`t hit anybody. OK. Let me ask you this, ma`am. He didn`t hit
anybody, he just shot outside the door. If I walk out there with him -- if
I walk out there with him, so they won`t shoot him or anything like that,
he wants to give himself up. Is that OK and they won`t shoot him?


TUFF: He says he just wants to go to the hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Hold on one moment.

TUFF: She said, howled on, she`s going to talk to the police officer
and I`ll go out there with you. Don`t feel bad. My husband just left me
after 33 years, but -- yes, you do. I mean, I`m sitting here with you,
talking to you about it. We are not going to hate you, baby. It`s a good
thing that you`re giving up. We`re not going to hate you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Ma`am, you`re doing a great job.

TUFF: So let`s do it before the helicopters and stuff like that come.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re already.

TUFF: You hear them? OK. So do you want to go ahead and want me to
tell them to come on in now? OK. He`s getting everything out his pockets
now. OK he says the gun may come back and say it`s stolen, but it`s not.
He knows the whole story about the gun. He will let you all know that.


TUFF: That`s fine. Take all his weapons off.


TUFF: She said that`s fine. Take all your weapons off. He says he
doesn`t have any more weapons.


TUFF: OK. He`s on the ground, now, put his hands behind the back.
Tell the officers don`t come in with any guns. Don`t come in shooting or
anything. So, they can come on in and I`ll buzz them in.


TUFF: So hold on, just sit right there. I`m going to buzz them in,
OK, so you know when they are coming, OK? So, just stay there calm. Don`t
worry about it. I`m going to sit right here so they see that you`re not
trying to harm me, OK?


TUFF: It`s going to be all right, sweetie. I just want you to know
that I love you though, OK? And I`m proud of you, that`s a good thing that
you`ve given up and don`t worry about it. We all go through something in


SHARPTON: Amazing courage. She stayed on that phone for 24 minutes,
talking to both the gunman and the 911 operator. She says she knew that if
she let the man walk out of her sight, children could die.

Joining me now are former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt and veteran
crime reporter Michelle Sigano, now a correspondent for Discovery I.D.`s
new show "Deadline Crime."

Clint, what jumps out at first when you hear about this amazing 911

CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, number one, it`s amazing,
Al. I was a hostage negotiator. I mean, I dealt with barricaded at bank
robbers, kidnappers in south America, David Koresh and (INAUDIBLE). You
know, I spent weeks teaching FBI agents and police to do what this lady
did. But Al, she did it intuitively.

I mean, she identified with the aggressor. She offered help. She
minimized anything he had done wrong. She helped put together a surrender
ritual. She told him what to expect so he wouldn`t be afraid. She said
she loved him. She was proud of him. He would be OK. She told him that
his future was going to be OK.

Al, she did everything that you could expect a trained experienced
hostage negotiator, but this was a smart, savvy blessed lady who put this

SHARPTON: And Michelle, the key I hear is it was intuitive. I mean,
listen to the end of 911 call when Ms. Tuff gets the gunman to give himself
up to police. The emotion that comes pouring out. Listen to this.


TUFF: Just hold on, Michael. Go ahead and lay down. Don`t put your
phone -- OK. OK, you just got your phone? OK. That`s fine. Tell them to
come on. Come on. OK, he just got the phone. That is all he does is the


TUFF: It`s just him. OK. It`s just him. I`ve never seen so scared
in all the day of my life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you did great.

TUFF: Jesus.


TUFF: Oh, God.


SHARPTON: I mean, amazing, Michelle, how she kept it together. She
connected, she really made him believe in her and her caring about him,
kept the 911 operator briefed, and then when it was over, her emotions came
gushing out, because she could have died. She was one squeezing away from

call this woman and give her a job. OK? She just, under pressure, she did
not crack. She instinctively knew what to do, how to talk to him, how to
show him love and compassion. She saw an entry point and entered so gently
and delicately, and drew him into her, into what she needed to do to make
this a safe place.

And I tell you, I`ve listened to it a number of times today and you
play it as well, I have goose bumps still. The first time I heard it, it
brings tears to your eyes. I was on the ground in Newtown just hours after
it happens. And you know, what happens when 20 elementary school children
have been shot and teachers, and so many other tragedies that we have
covered. And the fact that we are not talking about that today and we are
talking about something great is amazing. It is wonderful. And just as
she said, you know, her prayers were answered. And she really worked with
God through this.

SHARPTON: You know, in a local TV interview, Clint, Ms. Tuff
describes how she intentionally kept talking to the gunman to keep him from
targeting to the children. Listen to this.


TUFF: He actually tried to go out the door where the kids were. I
called him back, and kept talking to him, to keep him calm, to stay inside
with me.


TUFF: Because I knew that if he got outside that he was going to
start shooting the kids. He had already shot a round off in the office
with me and had been outside shooting at the police. So, I knew if he got
outside, he was unstable enough to start shooting at everybody.


SHARPTON: Now, aside from the fact, Clint, this is amazing to me, as
I heard it more and more about it today, it hit me she had no training, she
did this based on her instincts and it also smacks in the fate of those
that say you can`t get teacher`s training, you need to arm them, because
imagine if she and others were trained on how to do this. She did this on
instinct and literally saved lives.

VAN ZANDT: Al, let`s talk about why we shouldn`t arm people in
schools. There are 99,000 public schools in America, 900,000 police
officers, about 600,000 that are on the streets as first responders, but
these men, women are around firearms. They are trained to use them. they
go through a shoot-don`t shoot training.

Let`s look at the situation. We just saw -- you just looked at, what
if a positive-minded but untrained or semi-trained teacher or other
administrative person comes through the door with the gun because they hear
gunshots, the gunman turned and shoots at them or shoots the woman who was
in there? There was no need to introduce another gun into that. And I
don`t care what the NRA says, guns don`t belong in schools unless they are
on the hands of trained law enforcements officers. Let`s keep the guns out
and let`s find ways that other teachers can model the behavior of this lady
we just heard.

SHARPTON: I`ve got to ask you this, Michelle. I`m out of time, but,
you have covered a lot of crimes, you have been to a lot of horrific
scenes, and some good scenes, I imagine. Have you ever seen anything like
this by a civilian?

SIGANO: My goodness. These stories are few and far between out
there. And just as I mentioned, the fact that we are sitting where we
talked about Antoinette being a hero, and she is a hero in this case.

SHARPTON: No doubt.

SIGANO: And saving so many lives. I mean, he takes 500 rounds, 500
rounds. He was already firing shots out the door. It would have been very
easy for him to go in, down the hallway and away he goes. I mean, the fact
that she was able in a calm, collective and loving manner really cater --

SHARPTON: And share her story would have listen.

SIGANO: He`s mentally unstable. His brother admits that, he admits
that. And you know, the fact that she was able to go and do that is
amazing. Our hats off to you tonight.

SHARPTON: Great, person, great hero as far as I`m concerned.

Clint Van Zandt and Michelle Sigano, thank you both for your time

VAN ZANDT: You got it.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, pulling no punches, a brand-new documentary
dives into Muhammad Ali`s battles outside the ring as a political leader
and humanitarian.

Plus, forget the dating game. Republicans only want to play the
blaming game. And -- but we`re calling them out on it tonight. So, stay
with us.


SHARPTON: Here`s a trivia question. What`s the GOP`s favorite game?
It`s definitely not the game of sorry, and it`s not monopoly, even though
they like handing out money to the rich. Pin the tail on the donkey?
Well, now you`re getting closer. The truth is, it`s the blame game, and
that`s next.


SHARPTON: We`re with the latest installment of the blaming game. I`m
your host Reverend Al Sharpton. It`s the game where right wingers will
take anything and find a way to blame it on President Obama. Is your party
threatening to shut down the government? Blame President Obama. Did you
call for massive budget cuts that turned out to be unpopular? Blame
President Obama. Are you having a bad hair day? Blame President Obama.
Well, that one was a bad joke.

But sadly, this next one is truth. A new poll asked Louisiana
Republicans, who deserves the blame for the government`s poor response to
Hurricane Katrina. I`ll bet you know where this is going. Twenty eight
percent blamed President Bush but 29 percent blamed President Obama, and 44
percent didn`t know who to blame. That`s right. Even though this guy was
in office during Katrina, more Republicans blame President Obama for the
government`s response to the storm. And that is how you play the blaming
game. Heck of a job, GOP, too bad you can`t blame your way into winning an

Joining me now are Dana Milbank and Maria Teresa Kumar. Thank you
both for being here.



SHARPTON: Dana, blaming President Obama for Hurricane Katrina, I
mean, had these guys advanced to the next level of the blaming game here?

MILBANK: It`s absurd, because everybody knows that that time Obama
was in Indonesia learning how to become a Muslim during that time.


But, you know, many of these same people were polled earlier on and
thought that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks and I supposed if
you`re listening to FOX News every night, you may not hear that exactly,
about you`re led in that direction, and I think that`s problem with this
sort of echo chamber that we are hearing right now. And if people are not
particularly informed, there`s no telling what they might actually come up
with, but this one is delicious.

SHARPTON: No, but Maria, you know, it seems like what all of the
little sarcasm that I fought with it. This is really telling, when you
have people that can have a reasonable portion of the public in a given
state, no matter what the party actually believe someone who wasn`t even in
office may have been responsible for something, this is a serious

KUMAR: Well, this is absolutely -- this is part of the larger agenda
of revisionist history that the Republican Party is doing it, and they`re
doing it in absence of actually providing real solutions to the country`s
problems. And the more they can blame President Obama, whether it`s this
idea that he was responsible for slow response with Katrina, or whether
it`s because you`re providing health care to millions, or because you`re
actually all of a sudden not recuperating because of sequestration, it`s
basically trying to do smoking smears with the American public instead of
telling the truth, saying, hey, you know, what? We actually have to get to
work, roll up our sleeves and actually promote some actual policies to
address the problems that we`re facing.

SHARPTON: And then we have people in responsible positions, Dana,
Marco Rubio, a senator is one of the Republicans threatening to defund the
government, to stop health care law. That`s why he wants to defund the
government. Somehow, he`s blaming that on the president. He`s blame,
blame President Obama. He wants to shutdown the government. Listen to


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Well, the one who`s threatening to
shutdown the government is the President and his democratic allies. What
they`re basically saying is, unless the budget funds Obama-care, they won`t
support it. They`re basically saying that, unless we fund Obama-care,
they`re willing to shutdown the government.


SHARPTON: Democrats are willing to shutdown the government. I mean,
that takes some brass, doesn`t it?

MILBANK: But the two things work well together. Because if you have
an ignorant public that`s not particular paying attention, and then you
hear Marco Rubio say that, you hear Ted Cruz say that, and sooner or later
you hear a lot of Republicans saying that. You know, Mark twain said that
a lie can get halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on
its shoes. And that`s what happens here. It`s quite easy to manipulate
the electorate that way if you just keep saying that.

SHARPTON: Yes, go ahead Maria.

KUMAR: Yes. And part of that is revisionist history, because the
Senate did pass a budget. And unfortunately, the House is controlled by
Republican Party. They decide not to pass it, so.


KUMAR: Again, they keep beating it up but they also forget that
Obamacare was actually worldwide. Actually a lot that they have to fight.

SHARPTON: And upheld by the Supreme Court.

KUMAR: Right. Exactly.

SHARPTON: Which is not exactly at court that you could say goes along
with President Obama.


I mean Republicans bragged when they passed the budget cut deal that
created this sequester cuts. Boehner called it a positive step forward,
Eric Cantor said it was the first big change we have accomplished, and Paul
Ryan called it a victory. I mean, these guys do these things really that
cost programs for children, yet they want to blame everything on President


SHARPTON: The blame game.

MILBANK: Rarely will you hear it said now without saying, the
President`s sequester. Now, you can argue about who first propose the idea
to get them through.


MILBANK: But all you need to do is look at the Roll Call.

KUMAR: Right.

MILBANK: They voted yes. Even if they say it was the President`s
idea that was --


SHARPTON: The budget cuts and the sequester was a victory, Maria. I
mean, now they`re blaming President Obama. They called it a victory.

KUMAR: I look at the local level. There are people in their
constituency that is truly suffering. Everything from four lows to head
start. You name it. And the fact that they`re blaming the victory on the
suffering of the backs of Americans is despicable.

SHARPTON: You know, but one thing that Dana, the President doesn`t
want to play the blame game. Hey says, he won`t be a contestant. Listen
to this.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITES STATES: I`ve run my last election.
Michelle is very happy about that. I`m not interested in spin, I`m not
interested in playing a blame game. At this point, all I`m interesting in
is just solving problems.


SHARPTON: I mean, all I`m interested is solving problems. I think
most Americans would like to see some problems solved.

MILBANK: I think that`s true. But I think if anything, the President
needs to be lured into the blame game because that`s how these things go
and he`s going to have to fight fire with fires. And maybe if we can offer
him a new car, he could get into the blame game.

SHARPTON: I`ll leave it there. Dana Milbank, Maria Teresa Kumar,
thanks for your time tonight.

MILBANK: Thank you.

SHARPTON: A new car, this is not Oprah, this is POLITICS NATION.


SHARPTON: Coming up, shadow boxing with history, a new documentary
looks at Muhammad Ali`s his star battles outside the ring.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Who`s on top of the world?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You won`t fight for your country.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`m a minister of my religion. This country has
laws to administer.




ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: My colleagues and I are
determined to use every tool at our disposal to stand again discrimination
wherever it is found.


SHARPTON: Attorney General Eric Holder vowing to protect voting
rights after the Supreme Court struck down a crucial part of the voting
rights act. Today he took that a step further, for the Justice Department
suing Texas to stop its new voter ID law. And in North Carolina, former
Secretary of State Colin Powell, a republican, blasted that state`s new
voter suppression law saying, quote, "I want to see policies that encourage
every American to vote, not make it more different to vote. It immediately
turns off a voting bloc the Republican Party needs. These kinds of actions
do not build on the base, it just turns people away."

Powell was speaking in front of an audience that included North
Carolina Governor Pat McCory who signed that new law.

A reminder that people on both sides of the aisle are fighting these
discriminatory laws.



the army. But I would like to say that there is another alternative, and
that alternative is justice.


SHARPTON: Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest fighters of all time, but
some of his most significant battles took place outside the ring. A new
documentary "The Trials of Muhammad Ali" looks at the champ as he shadow
boxed with history. At the height of his ability, when he was champion of
the world, Muhammad Ali threw a political left hook that would redefine our
idea of who can be an anti-war leader.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Looking down on the rink. Fifty five thousand and
Cleopatra was at ringside. We don`t believe it, the fifth round came. I
said, come on, sucker.


SHARPTON: In 1967, Ali was stripped of his title. He gave up three
years in the prime of his career intentionally risking lengthy jail time,
all in the name of a much bigger fight.

Joining me now is Bill Siegel, director of "The Trials of Muhammad
Ali." Thanks for coming on the show, Bill.

honor to be here, Reverend. Thank you.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you, what surprised you about the challenges
outside of boxing, as you made this film?

SIEGEL: Well, one of the big things that I always have my eye on was
how forgotten this period of his life is, or undiscovered by generations
coming of age now. So, to recover this formative piece of history, this
piece of Ali`s life that I think makes him the legend that he is, I think
offers people a lot in terms of thinking about who they are and how they
want to represent themselves courageously and have, you know, what kind of
stand are people willing to take. Muhammad Ali did that.

SHARPTON: It`s a real, real heroic thing he did, the height of his
career, the champion of the world. And he gave it up for what he believed
and what was a higher cost, something you rarely see. I know Muhammad Ali.
And I knew him during this time, though I was a kid. And I really don`t
think people understand what he gave up, what he risked, and had no
guarantee he would end up coming out a hero.

SIEGEL: It`s true. It`s hard to know when you`re making history in
the moment. I mean, he expected to go to prison. He didn`t know that he
would ever box again. The Muhammad Ali that`s become, you know legendary
in the current form, the one that I think former President Bush put the
medal of freedom around was the heavyweight champion of the world, but as
you`ve said, you know, his most important fights happened outside the ring,
and that`s what this film is about.

SHARPTON: You know, you show footage of young Muhammad Ali with
reporters, where we glimpse at an early example of his refusal to back
down. It`s at the end of this clip. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Looking down on the rink. Fifty five thousand and
Cleopatra was at ringside. We don`t believe it, the fifth round came. I
said, come on, sucker. And break it up, and I said, there he is.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Let me see you close your mouth and just keep it

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Well, that`s impossible.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: No, keep it closed.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You know that`s impossible. I`m the greatest. And
if you get too smart, I`ll knock you out.


SHARPTON: You almost see him bristle at the suggestion that he close
his mouth. I mean, nobody was going to tell him to be quiet.

SIEGEL: No, he never lacked for confidence. But I think when he
became Muhammad Ali, he gain conviction and courage to take the moral stand
that he did on principle. Once he did that, he stood firm and what change
firm that point on is our response to him. He went from villain to many
quarters in society -- you know, he was always a hero to many, I`m sure to


SIEGEL: But for many he was a villain. And how he went from villain
to hero by standing on principle and taking the courageous that stand that
he did, is really at the heart of the film. It`s really about our journey
as much as it is his.

SHARPTON: And I think what really is amazing is he went from villain
to hero, and never sold out his principles and never really changed. The
world kind of came his way. He didn`t turn and adjust to become more
popular and less controversial to the world.

SIEGEL: True. And the sacrifice it took to do that, I mean, he gave
up his livelihood. They took his passport away. He couldn`t leave the
country boxing, authorities wouldn`t let him fight in the country. He had
to make a living as a speaker on college campuses, which he grew to excel
at. You know, and I think that that`s -- in a large part where he became
his own man, he started to, you know, become a self-reliant thinker that
all of us should be, to learn how to think for ourselves and not just fall
in line because somebody says go. He said, no, the power that it takes to
say no in the face of great opposition is a point of resistance that we can
all draw from right now.

SHARPTON: And you know, one of the emotional parts of the film was an
interview you did with his younger brother Rahman Ali and you play a part
of how they had suffered together what they shared. I want to play a
little of that.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Cassius, you say you`re going to be champion by the
time you`re 21. Is that right?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That`s right. I feel it. I felt the way he felt.
I share his pain. I share his -- you have to forgive me. I`m very
emotional when it comes to this. He paid the price. He did what he had to
do. He`s the champ.


SHARPTON: I mean, these two young men grew up together brothers, with
a dream, Muhammad Ali achieved the dream, the heavyweight champion of the
world, and gave it all up because of something he believed, and the pain
that caused him, his family, his being isolated, I mean, it`s an amazing
story that many don`t know until his documentary comes out.

SIEGEL: Thank you. I really hope people will see it. Rahman his
brother is all heart. And you know, one of the things I hope the film
carries is the intimacy of the people right around him, you know. The
world`s love for Muhammad Ali is well understood, and I hope that this film
helps people fully understand what that love is about, you know, what`s at
the foundation of the respect that we have for Muhammad Ali.

SHARPTON: Well, I hope they do and he`s really truly a great man, a
great champion. And he continues through his foundation with his dear wife
Lonnie to do great things even now. Bill Siegel, director of "The Trials
of Muhammad Ali," premiering tomorrow at IFC. Thanks for your time

SIEGEL: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

SHARPTON: We want to know how you`re advancing Dr. King`s dream.
Some of you have already started to tell us. Here`s some inter-
generational dreaming. From one man who`s making sure to pass the history
along to the next generation. And Deb says, she`s advancing the dream by
volunteer tutoring tomorrow`s future, for them, for me, for all of us. Way
to go, Deb.

We want to hear what you`re doing, too. Head to to share what you`re doing to help further Dr.
King`s dream. Use the #advancingthedream, and tweet a picture that
explains how you`re helping to move forward.


SHARPTON: It`s time for "Reply Al." Remember, friend or foe, I want
to know. Dana writes, "Are you going to issue a statement regarding the
Chris Lane murder?"

Good question, Dana. She`s referring to the tragic story of the
Australian student here in the U.S. on a baseball scholarship who was
brutally murdered last Friday in Oklahoma. Police say, he was killed by
these three teenagers, all of whom were arrested just hours after the
shooting. According to the Huffington Post, police say the victim was
chosen at random and have not ascribed any racial motive to the killing.

That doesn`t stop my friends over at FOX and Donald Trump and others
saying, "Why isn`t Al Sharpton protesting this?" I protest when I`m called
in and when there`s an injustice. The three were arrested, there was
nothing to protest. The system worked there, and racial? Not only did the
police say it was not racial, one of the three were white.

But you have people feeling that I wouldn`t go in because it was three
blacks that killed a while and no justice was done. If you get your
information from the wrong source, you blame President Obama for the
response to Hurricane Katrina.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. I see you back here tomorrow
night for a special two-hour edition of POLITICS NATION. I`ll be live from
Lincoln Memorial for a look back at the March on Washington. But first,
"HARDBALL" starts right now.


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